223. Telegram From the Delegation at the Geneva Conference to the Department of State1

Secto 64. 1. With Faure present and speaking for French, three Foreign Ministers this afternoon2 took up Vietnam following Eden’s receipt Nehru’s telegram on Saigon riots and ICC protection.3 Molotov has same message and apparently wishes raise matter. We agreed Eden should inform him French authorities will take appropriate measures protect ICC.

2. It was also agreed Eden should not raise election issue. But if Molotov mentions Viet Minh proposal of July 20,4 Eden would indicate we will be in touch with Vietnamese on matter.

3. Faure discussed elections and consultations, stating it is indispensable Vietnamese make contact with Viet Minh. After some discussion it was agreed some contact desirable. Roux, Caccia, and [Page 458] Young5 instructed prepare draft message to our representatives Saigon take up matter with Diem together or individually. Message would advise him contact Viet Minh and assure him our support on genuinely free elections.

4. French Delegation informed us Viet Minh asked French transmit July 20 letter officially to Bao Dai6 and Diem, which they are doing.

  1. Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 63 D 123, CF 524. Secret; Priority. Repeated to Saigon, London, Paris, New Delhi, and Ottawa. Drafted by Kenneth Young, Director of the Office of Philippine and Southeast Asian Affairs. According to an entry in the U.S. Delegation Chronology of Events, the meeting took place at 6 p.m. (ibid.), while Merchant in Recollections, pp. 41–42, shows that it was held in Macmillan’s office at the Palais des Nations immediately after the Fifth Plenary.
  2. July 21.
  3. See footnote 6, Document 220.
  4. See vol. i, p. 494, footnote 3.
  5. Jacques Roux, Minister and Director of Asiatic Affairs, French Foreign Ministry, and Kenneth Young.
  6. Emperor and Chief of State of Vietnam.